There are so many ways you can repurpose candle jars
By Mike Thayer
You always need to have some candles around, for ambiance, the aroma, or when the power goes out. If you're not into candles, maybe you should be, there are actually some great options out there these days. Aromas like bourbon, Mahogany leather, spiced tobacco, and even hemp are available. There are even 'crackling' candles that mimic the sounds of a wood-burning fire in the fireplace.
Then there's the gifting, family, and or friends getting you a nice candle in a jar for Christmas. Maybe they're trying to subtly tell you something about the smell of your apartment, or maybe it's just a thoughtful gift...
But what do you do with that jar once the candle is used up?
Don't throw it away, there are all kinds of great uses for those jars!
But first things first, you have to clean the jar before repurposing. Removing wax remnants and possibly some black soot isn't hard, but it can take a while and is worth the effort. To remove leftover wax, throw the candle jar in the freezer, overnight for smaller candles, and 24 hours for larger ones. The frozen wax should pop right off, use a butter knife to loosen if necessary. The soot should come off easily with warm soap and water. For more challenging black soot stains, break out the rubbing alcohol. Remove any stickers that may be on the jar, goo-gone comes in handy here. Once the wax and soot are removed from the jar, run it through the dishwasher.
Now you're ready to repurpose.
There's the obvious, buy a new candle without a jar and continue to use your jar as it was intended. This is an especially good option for those seasonal, decorative jars with Halloween, Christmas, other holiday or misc., themes. Change out the candle color, put in a scented candle, a crackling candle is great for those Christmas-themed jars... Don't throw away those decorative jars!
If you're into growing house plants, candle jars make great plant starter vessels. Any plant that easily roots from a cutting will do well in a repurposed candle jar. Expand your indoor garden with cuttings from Spider plants, Philodendrons, Kalanchoe, Swiss Cheese plants, Coleus and/or Begonia, etc. You're not limited to cuttings either, use your jar to start an avocado pit or lemon seeds. In the spring, I often use old candle jars to soak some veggie and flower seeds in water overnight before planting them outside in the garden the next morning.
If you like to cook, old candle jars make great culinary jars. An excellent addition to the kitchen, you can keep fresh parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, and other herbs at arm's length from the cutting board. It's not only functional but it dresses up your kitchen too, visually and aromatically. Treat herbs like cut flowers, put about an inch of water in the jar, and snip the bottom of the herb stems, this will extend the life of the cuttings. You can keep them on the counter when in use, then easily tuck them in the fridge with some plastic loosely draped over the top until your next meal. Candle jars with lids are fantastic for the kitchen too, for storing spices. I have some dedicated to my own spice blends, especially my secret rubs for grilling and BBQ.
Turn those jars into drinking glasses. This is a bit eclectic, it's not like you're going to get a matched set of glasses unless you're REALLY into candles. But you can't really get more functional than with this everyday use repurpose. Candle jars come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, some work nicely for adult beverage short glasses. I've even got a few that serve as double-shot glasses. I'm currently in search of candles where the jars would work as stemless wine glasses. Old jars work great for your home bar set up too, especially for a party to hold toothpicks, accouterments, and those funky little umbrellas.
There's more to candle buying than just look, color, and aroma... The repurpose is key. What role that jar will play in the future can determine the buy.
Put those candle jars to work in the medicine cabinet! This common shape can also serve as a double shot glass.
Candle jars make great Q-Tip, dental pick, and other medicine cabinet item holders. I used to use dixie cups to hold items like these in the medicine cabinet, but they tend to tip over too easily, creating a mess on the shelves and sometimes the floor to clean up. Repurposing a small candle jar for this task eliminates that problem, the jars providing a heavier base that won't easily tip over from an awkward pull or an inadvertent bump.
Organize your desk/office with candle jar pencil/pen holders. Why pay for overpriced desk organizers when you have good-looking candle jars that will do the same job? Not just for pens and pencils I've also got a couple of jars that hold business cards, one for mine, and one for the cards from business contacts.
Related: Extend the life of highlighters, markers, and pens with proper storage
Candle jars that come with lids are great additions to the Garage/shop. Have a bunch of nuts, bolts, screws, nails, etc., in a junk drawer or worse yet, messing up your toolbox? Toolboxes are for tools, not hardware. Organize all those nuts, bolts, screws, etc., with candle jars. And the beauty of the lids, you can fasten them to the underside of a shelf or the side of a cabinet for out-of-the-way storage. Just unscrew the jar from the secured lid to access what you need.
Store gift cards, it's a visual reminder rather than keeping them tucked away in your wallet until they expire.
You can go the decorative route with old candle jars, using them as a centerpiece on a coffee table or on a shelf. You can go with the classic glass marbles look, sea shells on a base of sand, or the dreaded potpourri. I know, most guys don't do potpourri to include yours truly, but it is an option and bachelorettes read this blog too. Getting a bit more functional and borrowing from a desktop use of storing business cards, I have a jar on a bar table that contains gift cards and coupons. And last but not least, you can put candy and/or chocolates in a candle jar. Keep what you like in it for everyday use. Put seasonal candies in it for the holidays.
So if you haven't been a candle person, become one. They look good, the scented ones smell good, candlelit dinners with a date is a must and then there's the power outage thing. All good reasons to have some candles on hand and you can repurpose the jars to boot! The possibilities for using candle jars are almost endless.
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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